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Posts Tagged ‘International Newgrass Festival’

Floodwood. Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Floodwood. Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Floodwood Performs A Few Shows in the Northeast in Late Jan
-Featuring moe.’s Al Schnier & Vinnie Amico
1/29 Thu – Johnny D’s – Somerville, MA
1/30 Fri – Oneonta Theatre – Oneonta, NY
1/31 Sat – Smoke Signals – Lake Placid, NY

Floodwood is a progressive string band featuring the combined talents of Woodenspoon’s Jason Barady, Nick Piccininni, and Zachary Fleitz, plus moe.’s Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico. Hailing from the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate, NY, members are veteran musicians who’ve performed on stages around the world over the last 20 years. They breathe fresh life into timeless acoustic music & play with the dexterity & chops of seasoned pros.

Floodwood kicks off 2015 in Negril, Jamaica at moe.’s Tropical Throe.Down Festival January 9-13th. Late January bring the band to Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA, The Oneonta Theatre in New York and Saturday at Lake Placid, NY at Smoke Signals.

This past year Floodwood had notable performances at IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival, late night at Capitol Theatre after Phil and Friends, Summer Camp, a tour to the midwest on the way to Shoe Fest, a variety of shows in Colorado, Upstate New York, a tour to Florida to play Suwannee Springfest and a number of other shows all along the east coast. The band is also a mainstay at moe.down where they originated on Labor Day of 2011. In January 2014, Floodwood released a live album This is Live as a follow up to 2013’s studio album, This is Life. “This is Life” was funded by a successful kickstarter campaign which raised nearly $20,000. There is talk of putting together a new studio album in 2015.

“In just about two years, we’ve played about 100 shows, made two albums, written tons of originals, launched a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and played with some of our heroes, like Del McCoury, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon and The Infamous Stringdusters,” guitarist Al Schnier said. “We’re just getting started.” said Al Schneir in Jan 2014 to the Summit Daily News. “With Floodwood, there are no amps and no effects. It’s like a picking party on steroids.” When asked what it’s like to have five guys from a variety of bands joining forces, Schnier said, “These guys bring everything to the table. I feel lucky to be in a band with them,” he goes on to say “These guys are the best I’ve ever played with, and the energy that Nick and Jason bring to the show keeps us all smiling and on our toes.”

Guitarist & vocalist Al Schnier and drummer Vinnie Amico not only play together in moe., one of the premier touring bands in the country who is celebrating their 25th year as a band in 2015, but they’ve also recorded & toured as the Americana group Al & The Transamericans for over a decade before starting Floodwood. Likewise, mandolinist Jason Barady spent over ten years recording & touring with the Bluegrass group Wooden Spoon from Taos, until returning to his hometown in central, NY. Nick Piccininni is a largely self taught violinist, who learned his bluegrass chops the old fashioned way – in festival picking circles & bluegrass festivals. He’s been a professional banjo player & fiddler in high demand on the bluegrass circuit since the age of 13, and has toured w/ The Abrams Brothers, The Atkinsons, The Delaneys, & more. Bass player Zachary Fleitz is a Berklee Graduate & Hypnotic Clambake alumnus. Zach joined forces w. Wooden Spoon & has played w. J & Nick for the last few years. Al, Nick, and Jason all take lead on vocals various tunes.

According to Schnier, who spoke with SoundSpike, “the band has a batch of its own original material as well as breathing fresh life into timeless acoustic music from the Grateful Dead and Dave Grisman, to a variety of bluegrass newcomers and pioneers.” They also add in a few select unconventional covers such as a Death Cab for Cutie song called “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” as well as covers for fans of newgrass and traditional bluegrass, these are mixed in with the bands originals which will leave you singing the words on your way home from the show.

For more information and news from Floodwood, please visit www.floodwoodmusic.com, www.facebook.com/Floodwood, and www.twitter.com/floodwoodmusic.

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by Cary Stemle
August 21, 9:57 AM
Louisville Arts & Culture Examiner www.examiner.com

I got a note from earlier this week about a late-breaking Louisville show by Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, a hot bluegrass quartet from Virginia.

They’re in Kentucky for the International Newgrass Festival (performing Aug. 21) in Bowling Green, and they’ll head up I-65 to play Saturday evening, Aug. 22, at the Hideaway Saloon, the cozy Highlands pub that’s nearly hidden away at the intersection of Bardstown Road and Bonnycastle Avenue (across the street from the Guitar Emporium). Keel and band are set to go on around 11 p.m., preceded by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys ($10 adv/$12 day of show).

Keel has a well-established name in bluegrass circles — he’s a two-time flat-picking guitar champion, a fine songwriter (he’s had tunes covered by Del McCoury and Acoustic Syndicate) and a strong vocalist with a warm, deep and expressive voice. His quartet is rounded out by Jenny Keel on bass fiddle/vocals, Mark Schimick on mandolin/vocals and Jason Flournoy on banjo/vocals.

Photo by Jon C Hancock

Photo by Jon C Hancock


Listening to a few MP3s, I’ve been impressed by their hot musicianship and vocal harmonies, and the sound recalls newer ’grass outfits like Union Station and Nickel Creek, without straying too far from tradition. It’s a lively and powerful sound — each picker is a heavyweight — and I can only imagine how it’ll pop at the Hideaway. (One of my musical axioms is that bluegrass, in particular, is a form that really must be seen live to be appreciated.)

The outfit’s latest album, Backwoods, came out in February (produced by Keller Williams — download a few songs here.) Keel appears in the soon-to-be released film, “The Man They Couldn’t Hang,” and also performs two songs.

“Over the past decade and a half (Keel) has made a name for himself through his fiery-fingered guitar mastery, his almost other-worldly vocal style, and his wild, progressive mountain sound that has one foot firmly planted in tradition while the other reaches out beyond the boundaries,” wrote The Velvet Rut. “In the end there is very little in the world of bluegrass music that comes close to sounding like Larry Keel.”

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